Venezuela
Venezuela
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Destination Venezuela
Caracas | Barquisimeto | Bolivar State | Guayana | Lechería | Maracaibo 
Margarita Island | Maracay | Puerto Ordaz | Valencia | Vargas
Climate in Venezuela
Weather and Climate in Venezuela
The best time to visit Venezuela is December-May, when the weather is at its driest. December and January are especially cool and pleasant. April-September is very warm, and it's usually rainy May-December. In Merida, the weather is best October-June. The Orinoco River area can be more humid and a bit warmer, and the mountain areas will generally be at least 10 degrees F/5 C cooler (and much colder at high elevations). No matter when you go, be sure to take a sweater - the evenings are cool most of the year
Venezuela
Venezuela Hotels
Altamira Suites Hotel Venezuela
Best Western Margarita Dynasty
Centro Lido Hotel Caracas Venezuela
Costa Linda Beach Hotel Venezuela
Dunes Hotel & Beach Resort
El Yaque Beach Hotel Venezuela
Embassy Suites Hotel Caracas Venezuela
Four Season Hotel Caracas Venezuela
Gran Melia Caracas Hotel Venezuela
Hesperia Isla Margarita Venezuela
Hilton Barquisimeto Venezuela
Hilton Caracas Hotel Venezuela
Hilton Margarita & Suites Venezuela
Hotel ATTI Margarita Island Venezuela
InterContinental Del Lago Maracaibo
InterContinental Guayana Venezuela
InterContinental Tacarigua Valencia
President Hotel Caracas Venezuela

Venezuela

Where to Go in Venezuela
Venezuela offers a great variety of landscapes – tropical beaches, immense plains, enormous rivers, forests, jungle, waterfalls and great mountains. Unfortunately, the flash floods and mudslides which hit Venezuela in 1999 severely damaged the country’s infrastructure; some of which may still not have been fully restored. Travelers should check prior to departure, particularly if planning to visit Vargas State.

Caracas
Nestling in a long narrow valley in the coastal mountain range 16km (10 miles) from the north coast, Caracas is typical of the ‘new Venezuela’, despite being one of the oldest established cities in the country (founded in 1567). The city is constantly growing and changing but, among the new developments, there are still areas of the old towns intact – San José and La Pastora, for example. Other periods of the country’s history have left substantial monuments; these include the Plaza Bolívar, flanked by the old cathedral and the Archbishop’s residence, the Casa Amarilla and the Capitol (the National Congress) building, erected in 1873 in just 114 days, which has a fine mural depicting Venezuelan military exploits. La Parque Central has high-rise architecture, theaters, museums and galleries. Other places worth visiting include the Panteon Nacional (which contains the body of Simon Bolívar), the Jardín Botánico, the Parque Nacional del Este, and, for recreation, the Country Club. Museums in the capital include the Museo de Bellas Artes, the Museo del Arte Colonial, the Museo del Arte Contemporáneo, the Museo de Transporte and the Casa Natal del Libertador (a reconstruction of the house where Bolívar was born; the first was destroyed in an earthquake). Next door is a museum containing the liberator’s war relics. There is a large number of art galleries, as well as daily concerts, theatrical productions, films and lectures. The city also has a wide range of nightclubs, bars and coffee shops, especially along the Boulevard de Sabana Grande.

Excursions
Mount Avila gives a superb view across the city and along the coast. There are several beaches within 30km (20 miles) of the capital, with excellent ‘taverns’ and restaurants. El Avila National Park has a diverse range of fauna including jaguars, armadillos, red howler monkeys and sloths. The park has its own campsite and hotel. Visitors do need a permit to enter the park.

The North Coast
The 4000km (2800 miles) of Caribbean coastline represents the major tourist destination in the country. The area has numerous excellent beaches and resorts ranging from the comparatively luxurious to the unashamedly opulent, which stretch along the coastline. Maiquetia is one of the best and most popular, offering wide beaches, an extensive range of watersports and some of the best fishing (including an international competition for the giant blue sailfish). There are daily air-shuttles from Maiquetia to Porlamar, on Margarita Island, a popular tourist resort with beautiful beaches, good hotels and extensive shopping centers. Also to the west of Caracas are Macuto, Marbella, Naiguata, Carabelleda, Leguna and Oriaco, all of which boast excellent beaches. To the north of Maiquetia are the idyllic islands of Los Roques.

La Guaira is the main port for Caracas. Although now heavily industrialized, the winding hilltop route from the city and the old town are worth visiting. Further west along the Inter-American highway is Maracay with its opera house, bullring and Gomez Mausoleum. Excursions run to Lake Valencia and Gomez’s country house, the Rancho Grande.
The coastal resorts of Ocumare de la Costa and Cata can be reached by way of the 1130m (3710ft) Portachuelo Pass through the central highlands. The coastline is dotted with fine beaches and islands, many inhabited only by flamingos and scarlet ibis. Most can be reached by hired boat. Morrocoy, off the coast from Tucacas, is the most spectacular of these – hundreds of coral reefs with palm beaches ideal for scuba diving and fishing. Palma Sola and Chichiriviche are also popular. Ferries run from La Vela de Coro and Punto Fijo to the islands of Aruba and Curaçao. Journeys take about four hours and delays are to be expected.
Puerto la Cruz is a popular coastal resort with bars and restaurants and good beaches. It is also a good center for traveling to remoter beaches. There is the Morro marina development in the Lecherías area adjacent to Puerto la Cruz, and the attractive town of Pueblo Viejo with ‘old’ Caribbean architecture and a Venetian lagoon layout – boats are the only means of transport. The attractiveness of the Puerto la Cruz area means that there has been an increase of foreign investment here in recent years.
Central & Western Venezuela
The Llanos is an expansive, sparsely populated area of grassland east of the Cordillera de Mérida and north of the Orinoco, reaching up to the north coast. The area is the heart of the Venezuelan cattle country and the landscape is flat and only varied here and there by slight outcrops of land. It is veined by numerous slow-running rivers, forested along their banks. The swamps are the home of egrets, parrots, alligators and monkeys. The equestrian skills of the plainsmen can be seen at many rodeos throughout the Llanos, as well as exhibitions of cattle roping and the Joropo, Venezuela’s national dance. Barquisimeto, one of the oldest settlements in Venezuela, is now the country’s fourth-largest city and capital of the Llanos. Its cathedral is one of the most famous modern buildings in the country.
Along the Colombian border is the Cordillera de Mérida and, to the east of this range, the Cordillera Oriental. Set in the area between these two ranges are the city of Maracaibo and Lake Maracaibo. Windless and excessively humid, the city and its environs are dominated by the machinery of oil production from the largest oil fields in the world, discovered in 1917. Sightseeing tours are available from here to the peninsula of Guajira to the north, where the Motilone and Guajiro Indians live.
Their lifestyle has changed little since the days of the first Spanish settlers. Their houses are raised above the lake on stilts and are in fact the original inspiration for naming the country Venezuela, or ‘Little Venice’.
The Cordillera de Mérida are the only peaks in the country with a permanent snowline. Frosty plateau and lofty summits characterize the landscape and many cities have grown up at the foot of the mountains, combining tradition with modern ways of life, as well as diversified rural and urban scenery. The scenery in this area is extremely varied – lagoons, mountains, rivers, beaches, ancient villages, historical cities, oil camps, sand dunes and Indian lake dwellings on stilts. The Sierra Nevada National Park offers opportunities to ski between November and June but, at an altitude of 4270m (14,000ft), this is recommended only for the hardiest and most dedicated.
Mérida, to the south, is today a city of wide modern avenues linking mainly large-scale 20th-century developments, although, wherever possible, relics of the colonial past have been allowed to stand. A university town and tourist center, it nestles in the Sierra Nevada, overshadowed by Bolívar Peak (5007m/15,260ft) and Mirror Peak (where the world’s highest cable car climbs to an altitude of 4675m/14,250ft). Mérida has modern and colonial art museums and much more worth seeing, including the Valle Grande, the Flower Clock, Los Chorros de Milla, the Lagoons of Mucubaji, Los Anteojos, Tabay, Pogal, Los Patos, San-say and the famous Black Lagoon. A mountain railway runs from the town to Pico Espejo. The view from the summit looks over the highest peaks of the Cordillera and the Llanos. The Andean Club in Mérida arranges trips to Los Nervados, the highest village in the mountains. Again, this is only recommended for the hardy. Other excursions from Mérida include San Javier del Valle, a relaxing mountain retreat, and Jaji, which has some fine examples of colonial architecture.
Eastern Venezuela
Eastern Venezuela
The coastal regions to the north of the Guiana Highlands have some fine tourist beaches and resorts. These include Higuerote, La Sabana and also Lecheria, where the San Juan Drum Festival is held during late June.
The Guiana Highlands lie to the south of the Orinoco River and constitute half the land area of the country. Their main value is as a source of gold and diamonds. 
The Orinoco and its delta have been developed as major trade centers. Ciudad Bolívar, formerly known as Angostura, and the home of Angostura bitters, is an old city on the south bank of the Orinoco and still bears traces of its colonial past, although it is currently the center of modern developments. The Gran Sabana National Reserve is the largest of the Venezuelan plateau and has an extraordinary array of wildlife. Santa Elena, Guri Dam (a hydroelectric complex supplying electricity to most of Venezuela) and Danto Falls are all worth a visit. Santa Elena de Uairén is a rugged frontier town which holds a Fiesta in August. Mount Roraima, suggested as the site of Conan Doyle’s Lost World, can be climbed on foot. A fortnight’s supplies and full camping equipment should be taken as the trip can take up to two weeks. The nearest village to the mountain is Peraitepin. Tepuy Peak is also worth a visit. Trips can be arranged to the diamond mines at Los Caribes. In Icaban, after a heavy rainfall, it is common to see children searching the slopes for gold nuggets washed down from the slopes.
It is possible to arrange trips by boat up the Orinoco River delta to La Tucupita. Canaima (one of the world’s largest national parks, comprising 7,400,000 acres/3,000,000 hectares) is the setting for the spectacular Angel Falls, which carry the waters of the Churum River into an abyss. At 979m (3212ft), they are the highest in the world, a sight no visitor should miss. Trips can be arranged which take in the waterfalls and other nearby attractions, including many rare plants – Canaima has over 500 species of orchid alone. Overnight accommodation is available on the shores of the lagoon.
Other national parks in Venezuela are to be found in Bolívar State and the Amazonas Federal Territory, for example, El Cocuy and Autana.

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